Publisher: Balzer + Bray (February 28th, 2012)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardback: 472 pages
Series: Partials #1
Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.
When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.
Review:If you are a reader who likes a challenging book, Partials is the one to grab! Partials was a surprising read for me. I expected it to be great but it really brought a lot of science and detail into a dystopian world. Most of the humans have been killed by an airborne virus. The ones who have survived are scrambling to find a way to save the children being born, and soon dying, from the disease as well. So far, no child has been born immune and it seems the human race will soon die off completely.
Kira is a medic. She is a 16-year-old who is intelligent far beyond her years, and her and her friends are well aware of the issues that plague the human race. To make things worse, it's not just the virus causing issues. Politics are causing people to rebel and now the leaders are trying to show more power as a way to make people listen.
Soon, Kira comes up with a plan that she feels will help save the humans. She will study a Partial, an engineered being that everyone feels is responsible for the spread of the virus years ago. Her and her friends go into dangerous territory to find a Partial and this journey shows her a lot more than she expected.
Dan Wells is a brilliant writer. The world we are introduced to in Partials is scary, desolate, and all too possible. A virus spreading quickly across the planet is a real threat so I think that's why Partials is such a frighting story. Dan brought a lot of science into this story. He didn't leave us with questions as to what exactly had happened to the rest of the humans. We know about the virus, what it did to the victims, and how it spreads. I loved that the readers can really feel like they take part in deconstructing the virus itself and seeing what can be done to stop it. This was really a book that allows readers to step back and think about what's going on, and attempt to figure it out with the characters.
Although few humans survived, I got a good idea of how the remaining population lived in their new surroundings. The young adults (and very young teens) were critical to the survival of the race. The political figures always made that clear and in a way it showed how the younger population had more power than one would think
The characters we meet in Partials were so well developed and interesting. Kira was intelligent, focused, and extraordinarily brave. She thought of herself last. Her friends were always at the top of her list. Kira's friends were each so different and brought so much to the story.
Probably the most surprising part of this book to me was just the visuals. Dan Wells used honest, descriptive language to describe a world that is harsh and ruined. Everything from the broken roads, abandoned homes and skyscrapers, decaying remains, and wild animals were things I could picture with such clarity. I saw it like a movie or one of those Discovery shows that that go through what would happen if humans didn't exist. It's so frightening.
If you are thinking of taking a chance and reading a post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel, pick up Partials!
Dan Wells did a remarkable job bringing this world to light and showing a harsh reality. Partials had everything I could hope for in a fabulous YA novel!
Recommended: Lovers of post-apocalyptic/dystopian, science fiction, with strong characters and outstanding world-building.